FINMA announced on Oct. 9 that it had authorized Crypto Fund AG as the first crypto company in Switzerland to be given a license to operate as an asset manager. The move by FINMA places Crypto Fund AG, a subsidiary of Crypto Finance AG, under the same regulations as other internationally known and approved Swiss fund managers. The policy change also indicates the establishment of the Crypto Finance Group as a top provider of digital asset services to customers across the globe.
Crypto Finance AG is a technology holding company founded in 2017. The company has three subsidiary companies: Crypto Fund AG, Crypto Broker AG (which handles crypto asset trades), and Crypto Storage AG (which provides crypto asset custody infrastructure). Crypto Finance AG, along with its subsidiaries, seeks to help institutional investors invest in blockchain technology.
“The FINMA authorization for Crypto Fund AG is a key step for our clients and investors, and for us in becoming a leading provider of digital asset services worldwide,” Crypto Finance AG CEO and co-founder Jan Brzezek said in a release. “The importance of crypto assets is growing, and our aim is to accelerate maturity in these markets. Regulatory recognition remains highly sought after by participants, as seen in recent press and company statements.”
The new authorization by FINMA allows Crypto Fund AG to manage and distribute investment funds to investors, both in Switzerland and in the international market. It also gives Crypto Fund AG permission to advise investment clients legally.
“The authorization represents our professional work over the last 12 months and is a major milestone for us,” Crypto Fund AG’s COO, Mathias Maurer, said in a release. “Our thanks go, above all, to our partners who made this ground-breaking authorization possible and to FINMA for the good cooperation.”
Authorization Means Increasing Competition for Swiss Crypto Companies
FINMA’s authorization for Crypto Fund AG to operate as an asset manager of investment schemes puts additional pressure on competing crypto companies both in Switzerland and in the international market. Competitors will be far more limited in their operations without an equivalent authorization. Currently, other crypto companies are only required to practice compliance with regulations designed for money laundering. The FINMA authorization also does not address supervision over the activities or organization of the crypto company. Therefore, the move by FINMA has changed the crypto asset market in a significant way, especially as Switzerland’s renowned banking background and financial services put a high priority on proper recognition.
Alongside these changes, Crypto Fund AG announced it had added professor Fabian Schär to its board of directors. Schär currently serves as the director of the Center for Innovative Finance CIF at the University of Basel. His research encompasses blockchain technology applications, such as smart contracts, the transfer of financial assets using tokens, and distributed ledger technology. He is the author of “Bitcoin, Blockchain and Kryptoassets.”
“We very much appreciate the technological expertise Fabian will bring to the Board,” Crypto Fund AG Board President Tobias Reichmuth said in a release.